Thursday, April 17, 2014

When Hope Floats Away



I sat down tonight to write about tacos and books.
I thought I had things to say about the way we're nourished, and about the plain way we celebrate.

But those words drifted out to the sea of everything weighing my today, and I'm still standing here ankle-deep in grit, facing a horizon-line that can't be contained in the span of my two hands.

The world just seems big today, and I prefer it small.
It feels heavy and I want feather-light.

If I were a nobler girl, I'd pin this funk on Holy week and tell you my heart is pulsing backwards-bruised to that single moment in history when the world went black and every living thing held its breath in despair.

Truth is, I'm caught in a net of ordinary worry, carrying burdens that came packaged with some of the best gifts I'll ever see this side of Heaven.

I'm tangled up here, desperate to shuck this pain and swing my leg over the side of the boat. I don't want this bland reality. I want waves beneath my toes like a smooth path of river rocks, my eyes locked on Jesus. I want to do better than Peter, not just match him.

I want all the Bible stories about faith for me. I'd like to back myself up to the flannel-board until it grabs me and I only move in the right direction, standing still and smiling, a lesson of His goodness, his unfailing kindness, his strength, his power.

I believe all of those things. I know He is always good, only and ever.

But the feeling - the sureness - has sifted through my hands today and I'm cornered in the
human-beingness of this world I knock around in. From where I stand today, everything looks so precarious, the strength of my exhale enough to tip the glass off the edge - shattered.

This is the ache of discipleship, friends. This is the power it holds - that our feeble, everyday act of shuffling down the buckled sidewalk with another soul could eventually break our hearts. Any ground we make together might end up jack-hammered into street pulp. Every victory might turn around and bite.

I wish I could love perfectly, like God does, exempt of fear and full of hope.
Some days, I dare to think I'm half-way to close.

But these gray Thursdays roll around, and I know He understands. He didn't ask us to love our neighbor as robots or avatars, or to lurch behind them at a wise distance. He asked us to come beside them, our knees grinding the asphalt, and heave their timber onto our backs. He asked us to hand over our last pieces of bread and let him create magic for all of us.

He made us human. To level the field a bit, he practiced our part for a while.
He hasn't forgotten the way things hurt. He sat in the garden alone, grieved beneath the weight I feel right now times the Universe.

He asks me to hand over my last shard of hope and watch him shape it into a sturdy life-boat, a bridge of river rocks, a faith that's shatter-proof.